If Donald Trump gets his way and rams an arch-conservative Federalist Society minion on to the Supreme Court, we all know that Roe v. Wade will immediately be in the crosshairs. But if these Republicans in robes do eviscerate the reproductive rights that have been enshrined into American law for nearly half a century, it’s what happens the very next day that’s truly scary.
Ten different states, it turns out, have so-called “trigger laws” on the books: statutes that say that if Roe is overturned, abortion will instantly become illegal. Nine states, meanwhile, still have outright bans on abortion that predate Roe, and two of those also have trigger laws, just for good measure.
That’s 17 states, home to more than 70 million people—20% of the country—where, overnight, safe and legal access to abortion would disappear. That’s not even counting states without these sorts of laws where Republicans will be motivated to enact new restraints the second they can.